Fillip For Indian Football? Sony LIV Charts Record 7 Crore Online Viewers During FIFA World Cup 
Fillip For Indian Football? Sony LIV Charts Record 7 Crore Online Viewers During FIFA World Cup India football fans with the French flag in Bengal. (Samir Jana/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Overtaking expectations, the number of online viewers for the FIFA World Cup touched a record seven crore on Sony’s online streaming platform LIV, Economic Times has reported.

Although less than half of the over 20 crore viewers claimed by IPL’s streaming partner Hotstar, the number is still much beyond what Sony Pictures Network (SPN) expected.

“It has beaten our expectations. Taking into account the size of football audience in our country, 70 million viewers is a huge number. It re-emphasises that SonyLIV is at the forefront of football streaming,” says Uday Sodhi, SPN’s digital business head.

He also said that that the platform logged in 20 lakh concurrent users, with viewers spending 15-16 minutes per match on the platform. The platform also succeeded in garnering viewerships from pockets other than metros with cities like Ahmedabad and Lucknow contributing significant number of viewers.

Among the cities, Kolkata, Cochin, Mumbai and then Bengaluru had the most number of viewers, in that order. Although India couldn’t qualify for the tournament SPN had run several campaigns around it, which seem to have capitalised on the latent interest among Indian viewers.

The huge number of viewers in India augurs well for the sport as it demonstrates a potential market around which an ecosystem can be developed. Indian fans had earlier turned up in huge numbers to support the Indian team upon a heartening request by the Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri.

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